For small hotels and bed & breakfasts, weeding out fraudulent email requests can be more of an art than a science. But, here are some foolproof methods of identifying scam emails in under a minute. Fraud prevention has become an important part of everyday business at Instant World Booking, so we’ve learned a few things along the way.
Whenever you receive an email reservation request, and the body of the email mentions “credit cards used for full payment”, this is a red flag. Most legitimate requests would never ask about full payment in advance by credit card.
90% of fraud emails will be sent from yahoo, gmail, hotmail, or some other free email service. So, if there’s any doubt about the content of the email, check the sender’s email address.
Now, here’s the foolproof part. Check the email headers. Many scammers have become good at faking email addresses, website domains, even copying the exact logos and website content of legitimate businesses. However, they cannot fake the “email headers”. Here’s how to check them:
From your email inbox, right-click the suspect email. Select “Message options”. You will immediately see the headers, starting with something like “Return-path:”, “Envelope-to”, etc.
If the header contains a source domain or address that looks suspicious, the email is most likely fraudulent.